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Cast

Credited cast:
Szu Shih ...
Chang Tsui-ping
Li Tung ...
Cha Hsiao-Yu (as Kang Hua)
Feng Ku ...
Cheng Shou-Shan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barry Chan ...
Chin Fu (as Chan Heng)
Hsi Chang
Tsan Kang Chen
Ling Chiang ...
Hsin Chiu
Nan Chiang ...
Hao Tien-Lung
Ming Chiu
Chin Chu
Feng Erh
Yun Tai Ho ...
Pai Sheng
Chia Chi Hu
Chu Ching Kuo ...
Jin Hung
Hao Li ...
Liu
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martial arts | See All (1) »

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Release Date:

16 December 1972 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Black Inn  »

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2.35 : 1
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The Black Tavern - another under-appreciated SB classic
5 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was the best Shaw Brothers film I've seen in awhile. When Celestial started remastering and releasing the Shaw catalog they pretty much covered the "classics" in the first couple years, so nowadays the releases don't have so much notoriety. Or maybe they just aren't as good...but The Black Tavern bucks a recent trend of good but non-essential releases. This is about as essential as Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, or Boxer from Shantung, but without the stars, except for a brilliant Ku Feng. Basically the plot revolves around the impending arrival of a box of treasure to the "black tavern" (actually it's never referred to as such) and the various gangs of thieves who plot to ambush it upon its arrival. The cool part of this film is that there is no "shining knight", in fact no good guy at all, for the bulk of the film. Each of the thieves have their own charm and Ku Feng plays the most intriguing (and most dangerous) of them all. Most of the film is about the gangs fighting against each other, allying with one another, and betraying one another.

The thing that adds yet one more star to an already excellent narrative is the above average swordplay. There is a bit of under-cranking, but not too noticeable if you didn't know what to look for. The final fight was absolutely brutal as well. The film is jam-packed with action but it seemed like that last fight lasted 20 minutes or something - great stuff and definitely up there with early Chang Cheh. Anyways if you're tired of revenge-themed "You killed my master/Stole my sword!" wuxia films, this is a nice and highly entertaining change of pace.


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